In this "utterly unforgettable" debut (Catherine Ryan Howard), a disaffected, true crime-obsessed bookseller develops a dangerous obsession with a colleague.

Discussion of serial killers, stalking, violence, alcoholism.

Roach would rather be listening to the latest episode of her favorite true crime podcast than assisting the boring and predictable customers at her local branch of the bookstore Spines, where she’s worked her entire adult life. A serious true crime junkie, Roach looks down her nose at the pumpkin-spice-latte-drinking casual fans who only became interested in the genre once it got trendy. But when Laura, a pretty and charismatic children’s bookseller, arrives to help rejuvenate the struggling bookstore branch, Roach recognizes in her an unexpected kindred spirit.

Despite their common interest in true crime, Laura keeps her distance from Roach, resisting the other woman’s overtures of friendship. Undeterred, Roach learns everything she can about her new colleague, eventually uncovering Laura’s traumatic family history. When Roach realizes that she may have come across her very own true crime story, interest swiftly blooms into a dangerous obsession.

A darkly funny suspense novel, Death of a Bookseller raises ethical questions about the fervor for true crime and how we handle stories that don’t belong to us.

Don't just take our word for it...

“Written with dark wit and verve, this mischievous novel is clever, entertaining, and unsettling, with a gasp-inducing climax that beautifully (and wickedly) intertwines the two unforgettable anti-heroines. Each sentence is a dagger, sharpened to perfection; Slater’s deliciously morbid debut will haunt you.”
– Caitlin Barasch

“Alice Slater triumphs in Death of a Bookseller, the story of two frenemies who share an antagonistic obsession with true crime. I love a book that features messy women making very bad choices, and this novel delivers the delicious juice in a surprising, twisty narrative that has you guessing until its unpredictable end.”
– Chelsea G. Summers

“Fresh and sharp, expertly plotted and also emotionally charged, comic but also pitch-black dark. . . . Utterly unforgettable.”
– Catherine Ryan Howard

Taste the very first page


Laura Bunting. Her name was garden parties and Wimbledon and royal weddings. It was chintzy tea rooms, Blitz spirit, and bric-a-brac for sale in bright church halls. It was coconut shies and bake sales and guess-the-weight-of-the-fucking-cake.

Pale skin, blonde bob, hazel eyes. Curvy, around five foot four in flats. A scatter of chocolate moles on her chest, neck, and arms. A silver stud in her left nostril, a pinprick scar from a healed piercing on the right side of her lower lip. Her upper arms and calves were inked with faded, clichéd tattoos: an anchor, a mermaid, a rose in bloom; a pair of swallows in flight, one on each shoulder, swooping towards her heart; a posy of lavender on her inner wrist.

Laura, with her vintage tea dresses, her berets, her crimson lipstick. Hand-rolled cigarettes, rose oil perfume that lingered.

Laura, with her poetry.

Laura, with her tragedy.

Oh, how the rest of the team just loved their precious Laura. There was nothing she wouldn’t do, no section she couldn’t wrangle. Business? A pleasure. History? Easy. Even the dullest jobs were transformed into breezy tasks when Laura did them: she cleared trollies, she priced up boxes of pocket-money toys, she shelved the most obscure books…